House Panel: No Pay Raises for Congress in 2015

Orhan Cam/Shutterstock.com

A House panel on Wednesday approved legislation that would freeze congressional pay for the sixth consecutive year.

The Appropriations Committee on voice vote advanced its fiscal 2015 legislative branch spending bill, which includes a provision preventing lawmakers from receiving a pay increase next year. Rank-and-file lawmakers currently earn $174,000 a year, while those in leadership positions receive a bigger paycheck: the House speaker takes home a $223,500 annual salary, and the majority and minority leaders in both chambers receive $193,400 a year.

Congress allowed federal employees at the end of 2013 to receive a 1 percent pay raise this year, which ended the three-year across-the-board pay freeze for civilian workers that took effect in 2011. Given the institution’s low public approval rating over the last few years, any attempt by lawmakers to raise their own pay likely would create even more backlash against them.

At least one lawmaker, however, believed it was time for a raise. Retiring Rep. Jim Moran, D-Va., who offered an unsuccessful amendment to the spending bill to give members of Congress a per diem for living expenses, said recently that lawmakers do not make enough money.

“I think the American people should know that the members of Congress are underpaid,” Moran told CQ Roll Call in an interview. “I understand that it’s widely felt that they underperform, but the fact is that this is the board of directors for the largest economic entity in the world.”

He added many members “can’t even afford to live in Washington,” and many lawmakers live in “small little apartment units” or in their offices. Moran, who has served in the House for 23 years, has consistently fought for better pay and benefits for federal workers. While the methods for determining the annual pay raises of lawmakers and federal employees vary slightly, the two are tied. Lawmakers’ annual pay adjustments cannot exceed the annual base pay adjustments of General Schedule employees. (Lawmakers do not receive locality pay.)

The $3.3 billion spending bill, which funds House and joint operations with the Senate, is the same amount provided for fiscal 2014 and is $122.5 million below President Obama’s budget request.

The legislation “adheres to the same fiscal goals we have set for each and every program and agency across the federal government -- and that means tightening our belts and making do with what we have,” said Appropriations Chairman Harold Rogers, R-Ky.

(Image via Orhan Cam/Shutterstock.com)

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

    Download
  • Cyber Risk Report: Cybercrime Trends from 2016

    In our first half 2016 cyber trends report, SurfWatch Labs threat intelligence analysts noted one key theme – the interconnected nature of cybercrime – and the second half of the year saw organizations continuing to struggle with that reality. The number of potential cyber threats, the pool of already compromised information, and the ease of finding increasingly sophisticated cybercriminal tools continued to snowball throughout the year.

    Download
  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

    Download
  • GBC Issue Brief: The Future of 9-1-1

    A Look Into the Next Generation of Emergency Services

    Download
  • GBC Survey Report: Securing the Perimeters

    A candid survey on cybersecurity in state and local governments

    Download
  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.

    Download
  • eBook: State & Local Cybersecurity

    CenturyLink is committed to helping state and local governments meet their cybersecurity challenges. Towards that end, CenturyLink commissioned a study from the Government Business Council that looked at the perceptions, attitudes and experiences of state and local leaders around the cybersecurity issue. The results were surprising in a number of ways. Learn more about their findings and the ways in which state and local governments can combat cybersecurity threats with this eBook.

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.